“Perfection is unattainable, but if we chase perfection we catch excellence” – Vince Lombardi.

Expediency or Excellence? I believe recent events have coerced us into adopting expediency over excellence. While much relates to the current environment, this trend has a long history.

Consider music. Is the recording of a live concert better than being there? I have several friends who after attending an event, bought the DVD and now re-live the concert each time they watch it. Transported back to the day itself; they can remember everything they did, who they were with, they can taste it and enjoy it again and again.

Consider music consumption. Why limit the number of people who hear it to the capacity of a venue? Record it. You can exponentially increase the potential audience. The transition from live, to vinyl, to tape, to CD and now streaming hasn’t diminished the quality of the music. If anything, the acoustic reproduction is often better; but it’s the experience of being there that people value most. Being there makes it personal, indelible, it makes it better.

We’ve sacrificed the excellence of meeting face to face, for the expediency of distant, remote, virtual conversations. There has been an acknowledged feeling of isolation during this period. In simple terms, seeing and hearing you on screen doesn’t come close to the value we get from being there in person. We recognise the efficiencies of virtual meetings, but much like recorded live music is more effective at reaching bigger audiences, we prefer the premium quality of a personal conversation in the flesh. We don’t plan to replace our preferred client meeting style with the perceived efficiencies of virtual meetings. As soon as it becomes possible and practical, we want to restore the added value of being present. It’s amazing the power and impact of a smile and a handshake. Would you close a deal with someone who wouldn’t shake your hand on it? Me neither.

So, enjoying music has gone from the live event, to vinyl, tape, to CD and now streaming has made things easier, faster, and cheaper. But I’d argue that it hasn’t made it better. Meetings too have gone from conversations, coffee, smiles and handshakes to phone calls, Facetime, Zoom and all the attendant woes of virtual waiting rooms, loss of picture and sound, meowing, barking, and the unpredictable menace of poor connections. Let’s hear it for tea and coffee, biscuits, smiles, and handshakes coming your way soon.